Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Well it's time for playoff picks - better get them in before the games start, lest I look like I'm cheating.

I can get them all wrong without any help, thank you.

National League kicks it off.

Cubs vs. Dodgers
Cubs in four

Even with Furcal possibly back, and even with Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers offense still pales in comparison to the Cub juggernaut, who, while not having a superstar of Manny's caliber, have no regular with an OBP below .350, and most significantly above that. This is a run scoring machine. Now, the Dodgers to their credit, have the leagues best pitching, with a very solid rotation and the best bullpen in the league. That said, the Cubs have some arms themselves - Dempster and Zambrano have been great all year, while Harden has been fantastic since he's gotten to the Cubs. They say good pitching beats good hitting, but I'll say good pitching and good hitting beats good pitching.

Brewers vs. Phillies
Brewers in five

The Brewers are at an inherent disadvantage in that they don't get to start their ace until game 2, but if they can get to a game five they'll get two starts in for CC Sabathia. I'll say that each team wins two games with their ace on the mound - presumably 1 and 4 for Hamels (though I can't be sure they'll start him on three days rest, but since their rotation is so shallow, it seems wise) and 2 and 5 for CC (I have little doubt he'll be starting on three days rest). Gollardo back in a big boost for the Brewers, and it looks like Pat Burrell may have bat trouble. The Phillies are probably the slightly better team, and the big wild card could be the Brewers bullpen which will have to be sharper than it has been in the second half of the season to take this series - even CC can't pitch three complete games in a series.

American League

Chicago White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Rays in four

The Rays have the advantage with the pitching through the series - two of the three best White Sox starters pitched within the last two days, and John Danks will have to wait at least until Saturday to pitch, and that's on three days rest. The Rays are all rested up to trot out their top three starters in order, Scott Kazmir, James Sheilds, and Matt Garza, all who have been very good this sesaon. This all said, the White Sox offense is still better than that of the Rays, but is simply not the same with its biggest bat, and who would have been the prohibitive league MVP candidate Carlos Quentin out of the line up. It's the Rays to take. That said, it seems I've been wrong before.

Boston Red Sox vs. Anaheim Angels
Red Sox in five

This may be the most intriguing match up of the four division series. The Angels have the better record, but the Red Sox have the better pythagorean record, as they both scored more and allowed fewer runs than the Angels (allowed just three fewer to be fair, but scored eighty more). The Angels have suffered from a lack of offense all year and have gotten away with it in part at least by winning a disproportionate amount of tight games, with the help of a strong bullpen featuring K-Rod (though it's worth noting K-Rod blew his share of saves as well - it's just that because the Angels were always playing it so close, he had an extraordinary number of opportunities). Also interesting is that the Angels feasted on the Red Sox in the regular season, going 8-1 against them. That said, I still think the Red Sox offense will carry the day, even with the improved Mark Teixeira lineup for the Angels.

1 comment:

AndrewEberle said...

Any team who starts a guy who has thrown 4 innings in the majors in the last 4 months in game 1 of their first playoff series in 26 years...deserves to lose. Any team that fires their manager with 12 games left in the season as they're on their way to their first playoff appearance in 26 years...deserves to lose. Any team that has ever been owned by the atrocity that is Bud Selig...deserves to lose.

Normally the team with the better pitching staff would win in this kind of series, but you clearly let your Phillies hatred cloud your judgment and briefly forgot that this club is run by jackasses.